Paranormal Ghost and Love Story
Historical Paranormal Fiction, Magical Realism, Fantasy Fiction, Literary Fiction
Published: December 2020
Publisher: Serving House Books
A ghost story, love story, and a search for a missing masterpiece.
PARIS 1920 Dying just 48 hours after her husband, Jeanne Hebuterne–wife and muse of the celebrated painter Amedeo Modigliani and an artist in her own right–haunts their shared studio, watching as her legacy is erased. Decades later, a young art history student travels across Europe to rescue Jeanne’s work from obscurity. A ghost story, a love story, and a search for a missing masterpiece.
Loving Modigliani is a genre-bending novel, blending elements of fantasy, historical fiction, gothic, mystery, and suspense.
Praise for Loving Modigliani:
“LOVING MODIGLIANI is a haunting, genre-bending novel that kept me turning pages late into the night” –Gigi Pandian, author of The Alchemist’s Illusion
“Part ghost story, part murder mystery, part treasure hunt, Linda Lappin’s Loving Modigliani is a haunting, genre-bending novel that kept me turning the pages long into the night.” – Best-selling mystery novelist Gigi Pandian
About The Author
Prize-winning novelist Linda Lappin is the author of four novels: The Etruscan (Wynkin de Worde, 2004), Katherine’s Wish (Wordcraft , 2008), Signatures in Stone: A Bomarzo Mystery (Pleasureboat Studio, 2013), and The Soul of Place (Travelers Tales, 2015). Signatures in Stone won the Daphne DuMaurier Award for best mystery of 2013. The Soul of Place won the gold medal in the Nautilus Awards in the Creativity category.
Saint-Michel- en-Grève, July 19, 1914
I like to sit here on this rock and look out over the ocean as I scribble in my notebook. I could spend hours, gazing at those inky clouds, drinking in the colors with my eyes and my skin. I love the ocean in all weathers, even like today when the wind is raw and the salt stings in my throat and the mud from the field clings in globs to my shoes and dirties the hem of my cape.
I’ve always been attracted to storms. When I was still very small and we were on holiday in Finistère, I’d slip outside and ramble over towards the headland whenever I heard the wind rising. As soon as Maman saw I was missing, she would send my brother André out to find me. He always knew where to look: perched as close to the edge as I could get. Shouting my name into the wind, he’d run to me through the scrabbly heather.
“Come away from there, Nenette, you’ll fall!” Gently, he’d draw me away from the precipice. But I knew how to keep myself steady: I’d just look down at my shoes on the salt-frosted furze and feel my feet in the earth. Hand in hand, we’d squint out at the waves of steely water. I kept hoping we’d see something burst up from the foam. A whale or a seal. A sunken ship up from the deep, dripping seaweed and barnacles from its sides, a skeleton at the helm!
I can’t explain why I keep watching the horizon, but I feel that my real life is waiting for me out there somewhere across the water. Who am I? Who will I become? Maman says I am going to be beautiful–but that my hips are too round, my face too full, and when I am older, I will have a double chin, like hers. But my eyes are the color of southern seas in summer, changing from green to gold to turquoise. I have seen those waters in the pictures of Gauguin, who is my favorite painter.
I am J.H. and I am sixteen. Everyone has an idea about who I am and what I shall be. For Papa, I will marry an engineer, or perhaps a doctor, like Rodolphe, the young country doctor who treated his grippe last winter, and become a proper wife and mother, accomplished in music, bookkeeping, and domestic skills, like turning tough chunks of old beef into edible stews.
Maman would rather I marry Charles, the son of the neighborhood apothecary, Thibideau, in Rue Mouffetard. He is a friend of André’s and when he comes to visit, he always brings Maman licorice or lavender pastilles, but he is not beautiful like André and doesn’t know anything about art or poetry. He spends hours in the laboratory helping his father make pills and suppositories, and his clothes and hair smell of ether, valerian, and cod liver oil. Maman opens all the windows after he leaves. I cannot imagine living with such a presence, much less being touched by those fingers.
Sometimes after dinner, when André has gone out with his friends, Maman and Papa discuss the merits of both, debating which one would suit me better as a husband. I sit there smiling as I listen, sketching or sewing a hem.
“A doctor is a fine addition to any family,” says Papa.
“But an apothecary will do just as well and if he owns his own shop, why he’ll be richer than a doctor,” says Maman.
They are both so absurd–they never ask me what I think. How can they imagine I’d ever be caught dead with someone like Rodolphe or Charles? The man I marry will be someone special. An artist or a poet. And he must be as beautiful as a god.
Papa thinks women should not work outside the home unless economic circumstances require it. Maman says that teaching is a respectable profession for a young woman if she wants to do something useful in society. She thinks I could be a teacher–of English, perhaps, so she is always making me study English grammar. But I find it hard to concentrate on English verbs. I’d much rather learn Russian. But what I love to do most is paint. It is a passion I share with my brother.
André is studying at the Académie Ranson in Rue Joseph-Bara in Montparnasse, where the Maître, Serusier, says he is very gifted. Over the bed in my room back in Paris, I have hung a painting he made of a poplar tree which he copied from a postcard when he was only sixteen. There is life in that tree, you can feel the leaves flutter as the summer wind shatters the heat and makes shivers run up your arms. When a painting makes you feel, hear, smell and taste, the artist has talent, or so Serusier says.
On every excursion to country fairs or old churches here in Brittany, I buy more postcards for André to copy so he can develop his talent. André plans to become a professional artist — though it’s a secret between us! Papa and Maman don’t know yet that what they believe is merely a hobby will be his career.
André thinks I have talent too. After every lesson at the Académie, he teaches me something new, and this week it’s been about landscapes, but I’d rather paint people than cornfields. In any case, the human body is a sort of landscape. I like to study how our bodies are made, the waves of muscles and hair and the textures and colors of skin. The dimples in elbows and knees fascinate me, like the labyrinths in ear whorls and fingernails. I also like the way clothes fit on bodies and the crisp turnings of caps and collars like the Breton women wear and soft draperies in long clean lines and a bit of fur on a jacket cuff.
André says I should become a clothes and costume designer because I have a way with fabrics. And I love making clothes for myself, though Papa and Maman think my turbans and ponchos are too fanciful. This dress I am wearing I designed and sewed myself, inspired by a Pre-Raphaelite painting. Sometimes I wear my hair in two long braids all the way down to my hips, with a beaded bandeau around my forehead, just like an Indian princess. Other times, when I want to look older, I let it flow loose, under a black velvet cap. I made a promise never to cut it and when I am old enough to have a lover, I will wrap him in my hair and keep him safe.
July 22, 1914
Here in Saint-Michel, every day André and I go out painting morning and afternoon. But if it is raining, he stays home and reads or sketches, but I get restless and have to go walking for an hour or so along the beach, and up to a spot on a cliff where an old paysan keeps his goats. I watch the goats for awhile, then traipse home through the sand and mud, clean my boots, hang my cape in the doorway, and shake the rain from my hair. Tomorrow Papa goes back to Paris and we will follow a few days later. Although I love it here, I admit, I am starting to miss Paris too!
I go straight to the kitchen where fresh sole are sizzling in melted butter and thyme in a skillet on the stove. Maman is grating celery root into a big blue enamel bowl and Celine, the girl who helps in the kitchen, is whipping up crème fraiche and mustard in an old stone crock. The leather-bound volume of Pascal lies closed on the sideboard. Papa has stopped reading aloud for the edification of the ladies and is now absorbed in his newspaper, but I can see the news is upsetting: His pink mouth scowls above his gray goatee. André sits on the edge of a chair, long legs crossed, puffing his new pipe by the open window, reading a book of poems.
“War is coming,” Papa says, rustling his newspaper. “André will have to go.”
“I am not afraid,” André says. His voice, so determined and grown-up, makes me feel proud and scared.
“But I am,” says Maman, “I don’t want my son to go to war. Against the Germans.”
She grates the root vigorously. Flakes fall like snow into the bowl.
“I won’t wait to be conscripted, I will sign up and defend my country,” says André.
Papa stares at him, proud and apprehensive, then folds the newspaper and puts it aside.
“And you, Achille?” my mother asks.
“All able-bodied men will be mobilized,” my father replies.
Mama puts down the celery root. I can feel she is sick with fear. We always have similar reactions. Our minds work the same. I go over to her and take her hand. Her fingers are cold and damp from the celery root; her wrists are threaded with fine lavender veins. I cannot believe that both my father and brother will be sent to war, though I know all over France, men will be leaving their families. I squeeze her hand to give us both courage.
We eat our lunch in silent dread. The food tastes like ashes in our mouths.
July 23, 1914
Why am I a person of such extremes? When I am here in Brittany walking in the wind, I am happy for an hour or two, but then I feel gloomy and begin to miss the little alleys around Rue Mouffetard, the noise and turbulence, the bookstalls, street vendors, and cafes. But once I am back there again, soon enough I feel I can’t breathe, even the Luxembourg Gardens seem like a prison to me, and I long to escape to the seaside. It’s always back and forth with me, I never can decide which place makes me happier. But now that we know that André and Papa will have to go war, I don’t want to go back to Paris at all. Why does André have to enlist in the army? I asked him this afternoon while we stood on the rocks above Ploumanach where we had come to spend the day painting the pink cliffs.
“A man has his duties, Jeanne. Otherwise, he wouldn’t be a man. Making a choice and sticking with it is what gives a shape to our life.” He was painting a brooding seascape in bold lines of cobalt, with a fine thread of yellow foam scribbled across the sand.
I added the last strokes to my watercolor. “I know I change my mind too often.”
“That is because you are only sixteen-years-old, Jeanne, and you don’t know yet what you want out of life.”
“And you, aged philosopher? Do you know what you want out of life?”
“Yes, I want to paint! Doesn’t matter where. Here in Brittany, in Paris, maybe when the war is over I will go to Morocco or Egypt…”
“To paint blazing deserts, camels, exotic women in yellow silk veils?”
He laughed. “You would look charming in a yellow silk veil. But show me what you have done today.”
I step back from my easel to let him have a look at my work, holding my breath as I watch his face. I can guess his reaction by the way his mouth tightens at the corner and his eyes squint. He is never very generous with praise. But today he says —
“Not bad, for a girl of your age. You have captured the lay of the shore in that sweeping line quite admirably. Your brushwork in the clouds here is a bit clumsy, but the colors are subtle. This violet, tangerine, and gray truly give the sense of an impending storm.” He holds up the picture to study it closer, then nods. “There is feeling and emotion in it.”
The ocean wind scrambles a loose strand of my hair, blowing it into my mouth and eyes. “Passion.” I suggest, brushing the hair from my face. “Violet and tangerine are the colors of passion.”
André rolls his eyes. “Peut-être. But why not red, scarlet, orange, fuchsia? Besides what would you know about passion?”
I shake my head and do not answer, kicking at a stone with the scuffed toe of my shoe.
Finally, I say, “Who will teach me to paint if you go off to war?” But what I mean is, “How can we possibly live without you?”
“I know you are sad that I have to go. All of you.” He blinks and turns away so I won’t see his face. “They say a war can’t last long. I will probably be home again in a matter of weeks.”
We are silent for awhile, looking out at the ocean. Far below the pinkish cliffs, we can hear the waves pounding the shore. Along the yellow beach, a little boy in a red jacket runs along the sand with a prancing dog. It must be the lighthouse keeper’s son and I wonder if the keeper will have to go to war, like André and Papa, and if the lighthouse will be left deserted.
I swirl my brush in black and purple and daub some more paint in my clouds. “Perhaps I could enroll in a school to study painting while you are gone.” I say this partly to change the subject, but also because it is something I have been thinking about.
André looks at me, surprised. Clearly, it never crossed his mind that I might want to go to art school. Now he ponders the idea and says at last, “Why not? Many girls enroll in the School of Decorative Arts, these days. There are courses for decorators at the academy of Montparnasse in Rue de la Grande Chaumière. You might learn a skill you could practice at home.”
“But I want to paint portraits and nudes.” He raises his eyebrow at that. “I want to make art! Not decorate teapots with rosebuds. I want to be a painter! A real painter.”
“Being a painter is a very hard life even for a man.”
“But Marie Laurencin and Susan Valadon, they are successful women painters.”
“Yes, but for a woman to be a painter, she must be rich and have an independent income! Or she must be the lover of a very important painter herself, and being a painter’s mistress or lawful wife is almost worse for a woman than being a painter. I don’t say this to discourage you from painting. But it cannot become your profession. Maman and Papa would never want you to lead such a life.”
“But you will lead an artist’s life,” I object.
“Girls don’t become painters for the same reason they don’t become soldiers, or chefs or the President of the Republic.”
“And why is that?”
André sucks in his cheeks and doesn’t answer straightaway. The granite cliffs seem to take on animal shapes as the violet dusk deepens around us. Overhead, screeching gulls reel back to their high nests. My brother puts away his paints and folds up his easel. It is almost time to go home.
“If you don’t know the answer to that question, it means you haven’t grown up enough.”
Why must he always treat me like a child? I turn on my heels and stalk off towards the old lighthouse, leaving my easel and paint box behind, forgetting, just like the child he accused me of being, that this might be our last lesson for a long time to come. I glance back to see him packing up my things, then gazing out at the ocean. He looks so miserable and lonely that I run back up to him and throw my arms around him.
“Let’s never argue my little Nenette!” he says, “You will be what you wish! The gods will decide.” He kisses the top of my head.
Today we have a guest post from Rachel Hailey. Rachel was born and raised in the South. She’s all about that nerd life and in between writing she’s dedicated herself to raising the next generation of nerds. If she’s not online or staring at a book she can usually be found at the local game store rolling dice, shuffling cards, or planning her next cosplay.
Her childhood was most prominently shaped by the works of R.L. Stine, Stephen King, Anne Rice and the Brothers Grimm.
I’ve been in love with monsters since I was a little and got angry when Belle turned the Beast into a boring old prince. As I grew older and more obsessed with fairy tales, I found two genres that truly spoke to my black heart. Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance.
These powerhouses rose to popularity fast during the late ’90s, and early 2000s. Those years exploded with amazing stories of dazzling monsters. Jim Butcher and Laurell K. Hamilton were among the first and are still synonymous with Urban Fantasy. But around the time Anita was toying with the notion of staking Jean-Claude, Sherrilyn McQueen (Kenyon) introduced us to Acheron and his band of tortured but scorching hot daimon slayers. While Harry rides an undead dino, J.R. Ward first showed us the wicked streets of Caldwell where the Black Dagger Brotherhood protects their race against the Lessening Society.
Anyone who has read a good Paranormal Romance or Urban Fantasy will agree that there is magic in the ink. But what is the difference between Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy? Both include the same elements: mystery, action, adventure, supernatural, and yes, sexy times.
So what are the differences?
All four of these series feature creatures that don’t just lurk in the shadows – they’re at home in the dark. The stories bleed tension, and the only thing higher than the number of pages are the body counts.
With so many similarities, it’s the technical details that define which side of the aisle a book gets shelved.
One of the easiest difference to spot is Point of View. Black Dagger Brotherhood and other Paranormal Romance stories are usually told in third-person, giving readers the full experience by switching perspectives among many characters. Urban Fantasy authors, such as Hamilton and Butcher, rely on first-person, fully immersing readers in the heads and hearts of their protagonists.
As Paranormal Romance series unfolds, they often maintain this same energy with each book centering on a new couple, while in Urban Fantasy a single protagonist continues to shine center stage, no matter how many books follow.
The next difference can be a little tricky to identify. Paranormal Romance are more character-driven. It’s the emotions, the development of the characters, and their relationships that keep us turning pages. The relationships are the main focus. The tension comes from the need to see a couple (or more!) handle their issues and find their happily ever after.
Urban Fantasy, on the other hand, are plot-driven. Investigating the murder, solving the case, saving the world are the defining moments for these tales. That’s not to say relationships aren’t important in Urban Fantasy. Usually, they provide much-needed motivation for the protagonist to get off their ass and do their job or save the world, pushing them to be better, stronger, harder.
This brings us to my next point. Sex. The pages of Paranormal Romance blister fingers and leave readers dry-mouthed, but so too can Urban Fantasy. Usually, the scenes are shorter, less descriptive. The relationships form slowly over books and culminate in a scene that begins scorching and ends with a closed door. (Damn you doors.)
But these rules are often shattered with impunity which continues to leave readers a little confused. Anita arguably has more sex in one book than the entire cast of the Dark Hunter universe, and it’s twice as graphic. There’s also the matter of POV. Jeaniene Frost’s Night Huntress series is told in first person and focuses on the same characters through all seven (wonderful) books. The Night Huntress series is also heavily plot-centric but undeniably falls into the realm of Paranormal Romance.
So what is the difference?
I’ve heard Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy referred to as cousins, but I disagree. I think they’re much closer than that, and deciding where they are listed comes down to opinion.
There’s an ugly side to this – The great disdain the Romance genres garner even within the publishing community. (Which makes no sense as it is the highest-grossing genre. Don’t believe me? Google is free.) Often this contempt leaves agents and authors slapping Fantasy on a book instead of Romance to appeal to a wider audience.
It starts with the cover. They replace the image of the muscled hero with a detailed, gritty image of the heroine holding a blade as she scowls fiercely into the night. I was told recently this was because Urban Fantasy readers are so much choosier about art. But are they really, or is this just another stereotype rooted in the belief that romance readers and authors are somehow less than?
In the end, it doesn’t matter where a book is shelved, or whether the cover has a half-naked man. Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance stories speak to some of the darkest corners of the human soul. Whether you read for the action or the action, remember, genres are labels, and like all labels, they can help or hinder. Don’t be afraid to cross the aisle and reach for a new author. What you find may surprise you.
Date Published: November 30th 2020
A tale of two communities learning to live in harmony but will the trust stay strong between them?
After everything they have gone through. Why now? Why this?
Kelpie and Jason grew up in peaceful solitude, at one with nature. Yet when they are forced to move, they are also forced to change. Nevertheless, they grow to appreciate this new life and the harmony between both the human and the fae societies. When the killings start, their tranquillity is threatened and in their midst a well of fear, mistrust and discord has risen.
If she is to survive, she must learn to adjust and be ready for the danger hidden in the shadows. Will the life she fought so hard for fall to pieces? Or will Kelpie and Jason withstand the darkness and escape the misfortune of their troublesome cycle?
Emilie Dallaire was born and raised in Montreal, Quebec and now enjoys her full-time job as a QA Lead in the Gaming Industry. After having the unique opportunity to have her works – ‘My Demon’ and ‘Starved’ – published in the Melting Pot Anthology (compiled by Syndie Beaupre), she has finally been able to switch her attention more to her true passion; writing! The project reignited her deep affection for the written word and gave life back to her childhood dream.
Throughout and since her youth, Dallaire has always had a wild imagination allowing her to be the author she is today. The author likes to unwind with classic Disney movies, video games, anime and photography, that all help her to relax while still stimulating her creative juices. Dallaire adores and is inspired by relatable fiction stories including impelling romances, of which you will often see incorporated into her own works.
The Crone had left me this particular book a few times to read, but I’d avoided it several times. It was a book on different Fae, and the knowledge within was a mixture of factual and assumption. It was everything that had been learned over the years, with some common mistakes mixed into the pot.
I smoothed my fingers down the spine of it, contemplating my options. I wanted to know more about my kind, but the fear that the information would be inaccurate twisted my gut.
“Everything okay?” Jason finished his sweeping and had taken a quick look around the shop for any remaining cleaning before coming to my side. He glanced at the book and slid it out of its place for me, then arched a brow. “She’s been encouraging you to read it.”
“Why haven’t you?”
He was right, of course, but that didn’t settle the nerves twisting my gut.
At least he seemed to acknowledge that and he patted my thigh before slowly getting back up. “Why don’t you take the rest of the day? Decide what you want to do and if you need time alone to read, I can give you that. I’ll send you some coffee from that shop you like.”
“…The pumpkin spice?”
“I’ve told you a million times it’s out of season now.” His grin seemed to quirk at the question, but he wouldn’t laugh. At least, not while I was in the room.
I appreciated that, at the very least. I don’t think I would have been able to stomach his mockery. No, not mockery…I knew better than to label it as such a thing. That was the little voice talking to me. I took the book from him, nodded in thanks, and made my way back upstairs to our home. “Fine, surprise me then, since you know me so well.”
That comment did pull a laugh from him and I couldn’t help but smile. It was a sweet sound to hear from his lips.
Date Published: January 19, 2021
Publisher: FyreSyde Publishing
For generations, the wizards of Candle Paranormal Investigations have helped the people of Boston with everything from garden-variety poltergeists to Eldritch abominations. Sixteen-year-old Henry Candle, however, has no interest in taking over the family business and would much rather spend time hanging out in cafes with his human friends. But when his father is brutally murdered while working on a case, Candle Paranormal Investigations magically falls into Henry’s possession — and so does a warning: “BEWARE, HENRY. HE’LL COME FOR YOU, TOO.”
Henry does some digging and discovers that two other wizards have been killed in the past month, both of their bodies found with the same symbol scrawled into their chest as his father. He decides to reopen the case so he can discover who (or what) is murdering Boston’s wizards before he’s next. Aided by his pug familiar, a witch and a group of human friends, Henry must stop a supernatural serial killer and find an evil spell book that could end the world.
Author Share Link
Corey Edward is a lifelong lover of books, learning, and coffee. Although he is easily spooked, he lives for a good scary story, so perhaps it is fitting that he finally decided to start writing them. He lives in Ohio, where he works as a ninth grade English teacher.
He received his BA in Integrated Language Arts from Youngstown State University and went on to later receive his MA in English.
The first thing most outsiders noticed upon coming to New England was the sheer enormity of the trees. And it’s true: they’re huge. Bigger than monsters in childrens’ nightmares and just as inescapable. Sometimes — on cloudy October nights like this one — it felt almost like they were watching you, warning you to stay away. Sometimes, it was worth listening.
Date Published: October 21, 2020
Publisher: RedBird Books
He’s tired of running. She’s looking for an escape. Can they find a home
Joshua Canfield spent the last year hiding from killers. He’s done things he can never confess, especially not to the loved ones he was protecting. All he wants now is to reunite with his family and live a peaceful life.
Lila Grainger has one goal in life. To earn enough money to leave Providence Island and a family with no regard for the law far behind. She never expected to meet someone like Joshua. He’s the finest man she’s ever known, and he sees her as a woman, not as a Grainger. But she can’t expect him to leave his family to follow her.
Neither of them knows that a new threat lingers on Providence Island. One that puts Lila in danger and could expose Joshua’s past.
A second buzz emitted, this time with a text from Ben.
Parked out back. Lets go.
Josh flipped out the lights, grabbed the bag of trash, and headed out the door. He tossed the bag into dumpster then entered the car.
“How did the questioning go?”
“Hunter seemed disappointed that our stories matched. He asked why I wasn’t driving the same car as I had that day. Told him both were rentals. When I travel, I turn in one and rent another when I return.” Ben chuckled. “He also tried to trip me by asking where we ordered the pizza.”
Josh frowned. “I told him it was leftover.”
“He was fact checking.”
Except their alibis consisted more of half-truths than solid facts.
“Good thing you remembered those security cameras along Federal.”
Ben shrugged. “We needed a cover story anyway. Did you get the impression they were considering if you and Stoddard were collaborating?”
“No, but Tom suggested I had reason to want to kill him.”
“Speaking of killing, did you dispose of that gun you had?”
“Yes, I broke it down the way you taught me. I took a trip upstate and dropped off pieces along the way.” Rest stop. Gas stations. Dumpsters. “What about the one you used?”
A side-eyed glance burned its way across the car. “Taken care of. Should be interesting to find out what Wallace does with Hunter’s suspicions.”
“You’re getting a kick out of this, aren’t you?” Josh twisted in his seat, sending a glare of his own. “This isn’t a game. We could end up in prison.”
“Take it easy, Sundance. We’ve covered our tracks. Nothing links me to Stoddard. Hunter’s trying to make something out of a ten-second video of two buddies getting together.”
Josh glanced out the window. “Where are we going?”
“To dinner. Eddie’s work for you?”
Josh snorted. “Ben Hampshire is going to eat at Eddie’s Sea-Shack?”
“Don’t be a snob, Canfield.” A smile tugged at the corner of Ben’s mouth. “We’ll go over the reports I have on those systems. When Hunter spills his guts to Wallace who in turn asks Paige, she’ll confirm our story.”
Josh sank down in his seat with a grunt. “One of these days, you won’t be the smartest guy in the room.”
A laugh tumbled out of Ben’s mouth as he flipped on the blinker to turn south at the Crossroads. “Like that’s going to happen.”
A wisp of something cold washed through Josh’s soul, and the memory of odors from a greasy kitchen pushed into his throat.
“It did happen.” He turned his head to catch Hampshire’s scowl. “That night at the diner when Stoddard set you up.”
Ben’s eyes widened then he gave a slow nod. “I had my suspicions from the beginning about that meeting. I didn’t expect to him to send three people. Didn’t expect you to show up either.” He gave a short laugh. “Did I ever thank you for saving my ass?”
Josh snorted. “You said—and I quote—‘thanks for back there.’”
“Glad I didn’t forget. As far as that parody Hunter put on today, forget it. He’s on an ego trip and taking advantage of Wallace being out of town. We have nothing to worry about.”
Except Tom Hunter’s determination to solve Nathan Stoddard’s murder put both Ben and Joshua in the spotlight. As brilliant as Ben was, Tom’s ambition could prove to be way more dangerous.
Dianna Wilkes is an award winning mystery romance author, known for the
Providence Island mystery series.
Reading has always been an important part of her life. “I learned to
read when I was four years old. Writing my own stories seemed a natural
Dianna holds a B.A.in Visual Communication and a M.Ed.in Instructional
Technology. She worked as an Education Consultant for a medical technology
company before leaving the corporate world. Despite all that nerdy stuff,
she loves creating stories of romance and mystery with touches of
When she isn’t writing, Dianna is deep in researching various branches and
twigs on her family tree or fulfilling entries on her travel bucket
There’s no Christmas like a Regency Christmas spent under mistletoe! New York Times Bestselling author Cheryl Bolen and friends invite you to discover true love in eleven deliciously steamy romances in this all-new holiday collection.More info →
Detective Gabriel McRay investigates a cold case from 1988 involving a missing teenager named Nancy Lewicki.More info →
This book belongs on every fiction writer's bookshelf.More info →
Practical and entertaining advice about how to create a fulfilling retirement.More info →